Thursday, April 25, 2024

New resilience hub pledged for Mirboo North

The Victorian Government has announced support for the storm-affected community of Mirboo North and further assistance to prepare for any future emergencies.

Minister for Regional Development, Gayle Tierney today pledged a $200,000 grant to enable South Gippsland Shire Council to establish a Mirboo North Community and Business Resilience Hub.

“The Mirboo North community is very effective at rallying together in a crisis, with a strong volunteer network,” said Ms Tierney.

“This support will help kickstart the local economy through Winterfest and ensure residents can feel confident they are fully prepared if anything like this happens again.”

The Hub will ensure locals can access emergency food supplies, charge medical devices, and communicate with loved ones in storms, bushfires and other severe events, she said.

“As the Mirboo North community rebuilds, this funding will allow residents to drive their own recovery efforts, ensuring that local needs are prioritised and addressed by those who know them best,” said Minister for Emergency Services, Jaclyn Symes.

A local working group is set to support Council to drive the project and select the best central location to install off-grid solar panels, a satellite link, and emergency cold storage.

The funding will also enable the town’s annual and highly popular Mirboo North Winterfest to proceed later this year – as a way to boost local business and unite the community in the recovery phase ahead, the State Government said in a statement.

The small Gippsland town of 1,700 residents was severely impacted by storms on February 13, causing significant loss of natural beauty through fallen and damaged trees and a tragic loss of life. Homes were damaged and the community was without access to safe water, phones and internet for an extended period.

Regional Development Victoria and Emergency Management Victoria are working with the local community and Council to identify immediate priorities, with head contractor clean-up works underway.

This funding is a special allocation from the Government’s Tiny Towns Fund.

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